By unanimous vote today, the Florida Public Service Commission (Commission) will order the state’s telephone providers to adopt “811” as the code to be used by customers to notify Sunshine State One Call of excavations.
The "call before you dig" program was designed to enhance public safety, protect the environment, minimize risks, and prevent disruption of underground public services by reducing damage to underground facilities during excavation. The Commission’s decision today means that by April 13, 2007, consumers will have the ability to dial 811 by wireline, wireless, or payphone to reach Florida's Sunshine State One Call Center.
The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 provided for the establishment of a 3-digit nationwide toll-free telephone number to be utilized by State One Call notification systems for providing advance notice of excavation activities. Previously, each State One Call center had a different 10-digit toll-free telephone number. In 2005, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated the 811 code as the national abbreviated dialing code to be used by State One Call notification systems. The FCC asked state Commissions to address the technical and operational issues associated with the implementation of the 811 code within two years.
“Because 811 is nationally recognized, contractors coming into Florida to assist with future disaster recovery efforts will know they can dial 811 to provide advance notice of excavation activities,” Chairman Lisa Polak Edgar said.